Routes to Open Access

The Microbiology Society is a membership charity and not-for-profit publisher. Submissions to our titles support the entire community – ensuring that we continue to provide events, grants and professional development for microbiologists at all career stages. 

We recognise that Open Access (OA) is increasing the availability and visibility of research around the world and is increasingly mandated by policies of institutions, funding bodies and governmental departments. We are leading the way on this journey and supporting our authors with a range of options to publish OA in any of our six titles – see below for more details.

Publish and Read

Publish and Read is our Transformative Agreement model which has been in place since 2020 across our full portfolio, helping institutions to make the transition to an increasingly OA publishing landscape. Publish and Read is designed to provide a frictionless OA experience for authors and maximum value for institutions, with minimum administration. It offers institutions an alternative to both subscriptions and article processing charges (APCs).  

Why Publish and Read

It is a mixed model that allows institutions prepayment of an annual fee for unlimited OA publishing and full access to all paywalled content across the full portfolio of our journals. Corresponding authors from Publish and Read institutions enjoy all the benefits of OA publishing without any further payment or administration.

Benefits of Publish and Read  

Institutions that sign up for a Publish and Read agreement and their researchers benefit from: 

  • Uncapped OA publishing: any article published in Society titles where the corresponding author is from a Publish and Read institution will be OA by default under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence
  • Unlimited usage: any user associated with a Publish and Read institution can access the entire archive of Society content, back to 1947, for reading and for text and data mining. 
  • Publish and Read is designed to be simple for all involved. Corresponding authors simply submit using their institutional email address. Eligible authors are matched against the list of Publish and Read institutions and the article is routed for the fee-free option.  

For more information on this model, including pricing, see our Publish and Read page

See if your institution is signed up in our list of Publish and Read institutions.  

If you have further questions, check our FAQs page.  

Subscribe to Open (S2O)

At the Microbiology Society our titles the Journal of Medical Microbiology and the Journal of General Virology will transition to S2O from 1 January 2025.  

Subscribe to Open (known as ‘S2O’) is an impactful, inclusive, simple and compliant model. It is internationally recognised and provides an equitable and sustainable approach to transitioning subscription-based journals to OA, one year at a time.  

It is based on existing subscription processes, where subscriptions enable universal OA publishing without imposing any publication fees on authors. 

What does this mean? 

Under the S2O model, subscribers to Journal of Medical Microbiology and the Journal of General Virology are offered continued access to their subscribed titles through the standard renewal process, which takes into account a library’s current budgetary commitments. When enough subscriptions are renewed, the journal is moved to OA for that year. This means that the content of that year becomes openly accessible under Creative Commons CC-BY licence, available for everyone to read, and with no charges for authors. 

The following year, subscribers are able to renew via the normal renewal process. If enough subscribers choose to renew again, the journal maintains its OA status for another year. 

Why S2O? 

S2O is designed to support the inclusive transition to OA through the regular renewals process with full transparency and no additional costs. The model represents an equitable approach as all authors can publish in the journal of their choice, irrespective of whether their affiliated institution has funding for OA publishing. Under S2O, content is open to both readers and authors alike and the model can support increased usage of Society content worldwide.  

Benefits of S2O 

  • Authors can publish their articles fully OA, free of charge, eliminating the need for author processing fees (APCs) – ensuring compliance with OA mandates. 
  • Libraries retain guaranteed access to our journals Journal of Medial Microbiology and/or the Journal of General Virology and their archives (subscriber access only). 
  • Libraries benefit from reporting on journal usage –  
    • By using our S2O model, they support the transition to OA of our journals without any additional cost using the existing renewals process. 
    • They are also directly providing wider access to our content, including in regions and disciplines without funding options to access and publish research. 

Article Processing Charges (APCs) 

Authors who wish to publish fully Open Access but are not at a Publish and Read institution may do so by paying an article processing charge (APC). Gold OA allows authors to make published articles immediately available online under a Creative Commons CC-BY licence. More information can be found on our publishing costs page.  

Support for APCs 

At the Society we acknowledge that not all authors receive financial support to publish their work OA. We are pleased to participate in the HINARI programme (part of Research4Life), meaning that corresponding authors in Group A or B countries are automatically entitled to a full APC waiver in our fully OA journals, which can be applied by authors during the check-out process upon acceptance. 

In addition, we can offer support (including free or highly discounted OA articles) in covering the cost of APCs when an author needs assistance to publish in MicrobiologyMicrobial Genomics or Access Microbiology. More information can be found on our publishing costs page.  


We encourage authors to deposit the Author-Accepted Manuscript (the accepted version of their manuscript yet to be copyedited or typeset, also known as AAM) in their institutional repository or in a recognised subject repository of their choice under a CC-BY licence to comply with funder and institutional mandates (also known as ‘Green OA’). When depositing your AAM, please include an archiving statement on the title page and include a link to the final published article, known as the Version of Record. The statement should read: 

'© [name of Author(s), year]. The definitive peer reviewed, edited version of this article is published in [name of Journal, volume, issue, year, DOI].' 

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